White Fire (Special Agent Pendergast Series #13) by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
White Fire (Special Agent Pendergast Series #13)

White Fire (Special Agent Pendergast Series #13)

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by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
     
 

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Past and present collide in Preston and Child's most thrilling novel ever . . .

WHITE FIRE

Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who--with brutal

Overview

Past and present collide in Preston and Child's most thrilling novel ever . . .

WHITE FIRE

Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who--with brutal precision--begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear. Her finding is so astonishing that it, even more than the arsonist, threatens the resort's very existence.

Drawn deeper into the investigation, Pendergast uncovers a mysterious connection between the dead miners and a fabled, long-lost Sherlock Holmes story--one that might just offer the key to the modern day killings as well.

Now, with the ski resort snowed in and under savage attack--and Corrie's life suddenly in grave danger--Pendergast must solve the enigma of the past before the town of the present goes up in flames.

Editorial Reviews

Diana Gabaldon
"A mile-a-minute thriller with a deeply entertaining plot and marvelous characters, in a setting that will chill your blood, and not only because it's 10 degrees below zero and covered with snow. My copy is full of crumbs because I couldn't put it down long enough to eat."
Peter Straub
"WHITE FIRE is as incandescent as its title, a beautifully organized, tautly paced book that really did just yank me in and demand that I keep reading. I'm very grateful for the experience."
Anne Rice
"Another highly entertaining and genuinely thrilling story from Preston & Child starring their romantic, faintly gothic, and always mysterious FBI agent, Aloysius Pendergast. As always the prose is elegant, replete with exquisite descriptions, and this time we're treated to dashes of historic characters Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, as well as a positively delicious serving of the great Sherlock Holmes. Through myriad shocks, surprises, twists and turns, the suspense never lets up. Great fun to the last page."
Clive Cussler
"Preston and Child have created a terrific mix of mystery and the unexpected that will keep you reading into the late hours of the night. They promise a great read and they have delivered."
The Washington Post on Two Graves
"The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and Two Graves delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters...authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book....The gothic atmosphere that oozes from the pages of Two Graves will envelop the reader in a totally unique experience...The mystery tantalizes, and the shocks throughout the narrative are like bolts of lightning."
Bookreporter.com on Two Graves
"Two Graves provides readers exactly what they would expect from a Preston and Child novel --- thrills, high adventure, treacherous plot twists and well-researched scientific intrigue. The story is never predictable, and Pendergast is a multi-layered personality who keeps you guessing throughout."
RT Book Reviews on Cold Vengeance
"Preston and Child continue their dominance of the thriller genre with stellar writing and twists that come at a furious pace. Others may try to write like them, but no one can come close. The best in the business deliver another winner."
Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
Sherlock Holmes fans will relish Preston and Child’s 13th novel featuring eccentric FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast (after 2012’s Two Graves), one of their best in this popular series. In the prologue, set in 1889 at a London restaurant, Oscar Wilde not only advises Conan Doyle on how to improve the character of Holmes, who so far has appeared only in A Study in Scarlet, but also tells a horrible tale about a mining camp that the aesthete visited during his American tour a few years before. The details of Wilde’s story gradually come out in the main, present-day narrative, in which Pendergast’s protégé, Corrie Swanson, a student at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is undertaking “a large-scale study of perimortem trauma on human bones inflicted by a large carnivore.” Her starting point will be Roaring Fork, Colo., where a bear killed and ate 11 miners in 1876. Corrie’s arrival in Roaring Fork coincides with a serious of grisly murders that Pendergast later comes to believe are related to the 19th-century bear attacks. Lee Child, Clive Cussler, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub have all supplied blurbs for this installment, which easily stands on its own with only passing references to Pendergast’s complex backstory. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Nov.)
Associated Press Staff
"Small-town politics, murder, a century-old conspiracy, arson and a detective who embodies a modern-day Holmes add up to an amazing journey."
RT Times
"A remarkable plot that ties together multiple killings - some more than a century old - a secret Sherlock Holmes story and a meeting between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle keep readers glued to the page."
BookReporter.com
"Fans of Sherlock Holmes will devour Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's latest thriller, not only because of its connection to Conan Doyle, but because Pendergast bears a striking resemblance to the iconic detective, and has powers as eerily uncanny as Sherlock's. Readers will race toward the final page and, once there, will thirst for more."
Providence Sunday Journal
"Corrie teams up with her mentor, none other than the investigative genius and series stalwart Aloysius Pendergast, in unearthing a web of deceit, conspiracy, and cover-up. He's never been better, and neither have the ever-reliable Preston and Child. "White Fire" blazes on high heat from the first page to the last, a wholly satisfying and relentlessly suspenseful tale."
From the Publisher
"The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and Two Graves delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters...authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book....The gothic atmosphere that oozes from the pages of Two Graves will envelop the reader in a totally unique experience...The mystery tantalizes, and the shocks throughout the narrative are like bolts of lightning."—The Washington Post on Two Graves"

Two Graves provides readers exactly what they would expect from a Preston and Child novel —- thrills, high adventure, treacherous plot twists and well-researched scientific intrigue. The story is never predictable, and Pendergast is a multi-layered personality who keeps you guessing throughout."—Bookreporter.com on Two Graves"

Pendergast—an always-black-clad pale blond polymath, gaunt yet physically deadly, an FBI agent operating without supervision or reprimand—lurks at the dark, sharp edge of crime fiction protagonists."—Kirkus Reviews"

Preston and Child continue their dominance of the thriller genre with stellar writing and twists that come at a furious pace. Others may try to write like them, but no one can come close. The best in the business deliver another winner."—RT Book Reviews on Cold Vengeance
"

This is no dream; it's the authors' best book in years. Pendergast has to rein in his feelings to pay attention to the details, and it's fun to see the role reversal between him and the usually emotional D'Agosta. Not to be missed by either newcomers or die-hard fans."—Library Journal (starred review) for Fever Dream

Steve Berry
"WHITE FIRE is a perfect introduction for any reader not yet acquainted with A.X.L. Pendergast, one of the most memorable detectives in contemporary thrillerdom."
David Baldacci
"What Preston and Child are so good at are exemplified here: solid research, clear swift prose and enough twists to fill a jar of pretzels. Sit back, crack open the book and get ready for the ride of your life."
Lee Child
"The best Pendergast book yet - a collision between past and present that will leave you breathless."
Lisa Gardner
"Preston and Child have done it again! WHITE FIRE continues their white hot streak of bestselling suspense as the most eccentric and ruthlessly clever FBI agent in the business, Pendergast, takes on old money and even older secrets with some literary help from Sherlock Holmes. Simply brilliant!"
R.L. Stine
"I've read every Pendergast thriller. This is the most suspenseful and most horrifying of them all. This book holds chills you can't imagine. I'm still shuddering. I promise-- you'll shudder, too."
Library Journal
★ 09/01/2013
In searching for a topic for her thesis, Corrie Swanson, a third-year criminal justice student, finds an article about a conversation between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle that had the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes fleeing from the room horrified. Learning that in 1876 a number of miners in the town of Roaring Fork, CO, had been attacked and eaten by a grizzly bear, Corrie travels to Roaring Fork to examine the miners' bones, but before she gets a look, the developers of the town's exclusive ski resort have her thrown in jail on trumped-up charges. Corrie did see enough to believe that the marks on the bones were made by something much more sinister than a bear. FBI Special Agent Aloysius Xingu L. Pendergast (Two Graves) comes to her rescue and offers his help. As a series of arsons threaten to light up Roaring Fork, Corrie and Aloysius must solve the riddle of the town's past. VERDICT Preston and Child have again given the readers a vibrant, thrilling, and sometimes shocking read with unexpected twists and surprises that is sure to delight. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/13.]—Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Adairsville, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Preston and Child (Two Graves, 2012, etc.) bring back FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, expert in the psychology of serial killers and other criminal deviants. Pendergast is independently wealthy, and despite his cold, logical nature, he possesses a certain compassion, explaining his support of the once-troubled, youthful Corrie Swanson as she navigates the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Corrie needs a thesis to please a chauvinist professor. She finds it after discovering a story told by Oscar Wilde to Arthur Conan Doyle at a literary dinner. The tale related to no crime, but rather the 1876 killing of miners in Roaring Fork, Colo., by a grizzly bear. Her thesis: a study of perimortem trauma on human bones. The problem: Roaring Fork is now a ski resort of "oppressive wealth, entitlement, and smugness"--think Aspen--and the powers-that-be, land-developing descendants of silver barons who raped the mountains, deny her access to the bodies recently exhumed because of a new construction project. Pendergast leverages permission, and Swanson begins her study, only to discover the miners were killed--and cannibalized--by humans. Shocking, certainly, but something else wicked her way comes: A modern-day fiend is murdering moneyed Roaring Fork residents and incinerating their bodies by burning down their mansions. Pendergast remains one of crime fiction's memorable protagonists--pale, silvery of eye, inscrutable of mien, always black-clad--and it's he who discovers the old deaths bear witness to the new. The authors provide a reasonable supporting cast, including a rich-boy ski bum now town librarian; an overwhelmed sheriff who grows into his job; Roger Kleefisch, a Baker Street Irregular, who assists Pendergast in uncovering lost Conan Doyle esoterica; and Captain Stacy Bowdree, lone descendant of one of the dead miners. Jaded crime fiction buffs might find the premise hyperbolic, but beneath the overwrought headlines Pendergast solves captivating mysteries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455525843
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Series:
Special Agent Pendergast Series, #13
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
51,278
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Anne Rice
Another highly entertaining and genuinely thrilling story from Preston & Child starring their romantic, faintly gothic, and always mysterious FBI agent, Aloysius Pendergast. As always the prose is elegant, replete with exquisite descriptions, and this time we're treated to dashes of historic characters Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, as well as a positively delicious serving of the great Sherlock Holmes. Through myriad shocks, surprises, twists and turns, the suspense never lets up. Great fun to the last page.--Anne Rice
Diana Gabaldon
A mile-a-minute thriller with a deeply entertaining plot and marvelous characters, in a setting that will chill your blood, and not only because it's 10 degrees below zero and covered with snow. My copy is full of crumbs because I couldn't put it down long enough to eat.--Diana Gabaldon
Peter Straub
WHITE FIRE is as incandescent as its title, a beautifully organized, tautly paced book that really did just yank me in and demand that I keep reading. I'm very grateful for the experience.--Peter Straub
David Baldacci
As a fan of both Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, I began this book with great expectations. And in the first chapter we meet the two great men and their real life encounter, the result of which was two classic novels that have been devoured by generations of enthralled readers. But then Preston and Child, in their inimitable style, take the past and hurl it seamlessly into the present. Grizzly bear attacks from the late 1800s with stacks of old bones in a warehouse forcefully take on new meaning and create new dangers for our heroine, the compelling Corrie Swanson, and the steadfast Agent Pendergast who sweeps in to solve the case and save his ward. What Preston and Child are so good at are exemplified here: solid research, clear swift prose and enough twists to fill a jar of pretzels. Sit back, crack open the book and get ready for the ride of your life.--David Baldacci
Clive Cussler
Preston and Child have created a terrific mix of mystery and the unexpected that will keep you reading into the late hours of the night. They promise a great read and they have delivered.--Clive Cussler
Lisa Gardner
Preston and Child have done it again! WHITE FIRE continues their white hot streak of bestselling suspense as the most eccentric and ruthlessly clever FBI agent in the business, Pendergast, takes on old money and even older secrets with some literary help from Sherlock Holmes. Simply brilliant!--Lisa Gardner
R. L. Stine
I've read every Pendergast thriller. This is the most suspenseful and most horrifying of them all. This book holds chills you can't imagine. I'm still shuddering. I promise-- you'll shudder, too.--R.L. Stine

Meet the Author

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. Coauthors of the famed Pendergast series, Preston and Child are also the authors of Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, and Gideon's Sword. Preston's acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published four novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.

Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com, and on Facebook.

Brief Biography

Place of Birth:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Education:
B.A., Pomona College, 1978
Website:
http://www.prestonchild.com

Customer Reviews

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White Fire 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 221 reviews.
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
Seeing Douglas Preston in person (twice) and Lincoln Child via Skype (once), I can’t help but be enthralled by the eccentricities of these two individuals, and the odd dynamic that must ensue from this powerful writing duo. So it’s hard not to see how Aloysius Pendergast might have developed from these two brilliant minds fully formed and ready for action. He’s odd and eccentric and intriguing and his dark suits never manage to get wrinkle, even when he’s bounding through snow drifts up to his chin or playing Russian roulette with a loaded revolver. More than just Pendergast, though, WHITE FIRE filled its pages with entertaining characters and a few individuals from the days of yore. With Corrie Swanson leading the charge and immersing herself in skeletal remains and mining caves and mountain passes, this novel piles on roadblocks and adventures in equal measure, and then douses the remains in cans of kerosene. With stoic individuals stepping to the forefront and the interweaving of a story within a story, this novel moves forward as much as it lingers in antiquity. Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde and Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson weave through the pages, leaving footprints in white blankets and half-eaten meals behind. The rush of adrenaline helped me maneuver from the first page to the last, the throttle easing just enough to keep me from overexertion, the pages pounding with the precision of a jackhammer. The vibrations echoed through my hands and all the way up my forearms, as I drove my snowmobile through the ensuing avalanche. The tight plot fit about as well as a snug pair of gloves, and I leaned my back from the resultant wind current, my teeth chattering and my feet stamping in protest. If you don’t mind Pendergast avoiding the spotlight as opposed to standing in the limelight, acting more as a mentor than the lead investigator, and you enjoy your plots more tightly woven than a pair of mittens, you’ll probably find yourself enjoying this Colorado tale. I received this book for free through NetGalley. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Annoyingly stupid heroine makes for a disappointing addition to the Pendergast series. Any redeeming qualities Corrie may have had in earlier books have been negated by her moronic decision-making in this one. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love Pendergast. He deserves nuanced supporting characters and a semi-intelligent plot, neither of which is present here. As always, the prose is fun. It's peppered with arcane and educational vocabulary and esoteric information about a variety of topics, all made interesting by the slightly florid (in a good way) writing style.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful character the writers have in Pendergast! But this effort by Preston & Child falls short . The secondary characters are weak and simplistic compared the their early books. I, like another reader, skipped over several chapters that featured the Corrie character. She is portrayed as being streetwise, yet makes juvenile decisions boarding on naivete. I found her more of a distraction to the story than anything else. Pendergast is a winner...they should stick with him.
Butterfly3DR More than 1 year ago
Boring!  Authors  constructed the story around  Corrie Swanson,  No depth of character, just a petulant young lady.  The book is flat, no suspense, a huge disappointment ! I skimmed through most of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm very happy that I liked this book. The last few have been disappointing, but this time I really liked it. Exciting and kept my interest. K.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A page-turning thriller. I  was glad to see Agent Pendergast at his finest again.I could not put the book down .I
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is not exactly ruined by having allegedly intelligent heroine do something incredibly stupid, but I did skip large portions of narrative. This one was a bit predictable, to be honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Another of this series that did not disappoint. Must read! Interesting, enthralling and a page turner. Highly recommend!!
sams-kitten More than 1 year ago
White FireDouglas Preston and Lincoln ChildCan I just say, this book caused a lot of happy squealing on my end? First when Preston personally (!) sent me an Advanced Reader Copy (!!) Then when I saw the first page of the book, and again when I finished it. I have been a huge fan of Preston and Child's Special Agent Pendergast for about 10 years now. Having finished their latest sub-trilogy in the series, they decided to explore new ground with Pendergast. And by new ground, I mean going way back in the past to the ground at the root of all detective stories: Sherlock Holmes.I have long held that Pendegast is the most Sherlockian of detectives currently being written. So one of my squeals came when I openedWhite Fire to see a note that the character of Sherlock Holmes was used in this novel by permission of the Conan Doyle estate! Of course, how one of the greatest detectives in fiction got mixed up with Sherlock Holmes is a (typically, delightfully) twisted story.Special Agent Pendergast's protege, Corrie Swanson, is looking for the perfect research project to advance her studies at the College of Criminal Justice. She stumbles upon accounts of a man-eating bear in a Colorado mining town in the 1870s. Corri pours all of her resources into research, but powerful families in the town (now a high-class ski resort) are uncomfortable with what she unearths. While she digs around in the past, houses in the town are being burned to the ground. Corri makes some impetuous descisions, and this is where Pendergast has to come riding in to bail her out.Pendergast's take on the man- eating bear is wildly different, colored by an old Sherlock Holmes tale (invented in this book by Preston and Child. They do a remarkable job of alluding to Conan Doyle's style but still writing in a manner recognizably their own.) Pendegast must call on all of his resources to not only solve the case but keep Corrie alive (and out of jail.) He leverages all of his connections and explores all his fields of obscure knowledge before bringing all his impressive powers of thought and deduction to bear and, of course, solving the case! All this while attired in only the finest of bespoke black menswear (the detailed descriptions of his Colorado snow gear were pretty funny.)If you had merely said to me the words "Pendergast and Holmes" I would've been excited. Happily, this book was everything I hoped it would be- and more. Lincoln and Child do not disappoint. Fans of Pendergast will be happy to encounter him in this unique adventure. Readers new to the series will find this book an excellent place to start.The other top (altho not quite as good) Sherlockian detectives currently being written are J. Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme and J. Nesbo's Harry Hole.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get used to them if you choose to read these books! This book had me hooked by page two! yes corrie did some stupid stuff.......she is a young girl after all! This book was a ride..Get the sample and you will be compelled to purchase.......then settle in for your very late night. Loved this book and am now reading them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next adventure!
Dragon49 More than 1 year ago
As usual Preston & Child has written another "hold on to your seat" stories. Love the books that have Agent Pendergast as the main character. This has kept me turning page after page to see what happens next. A book to hold your interest until the end.
Kataman1 More than 1 year ago
Pendergast must rescue young Corrie Swenson again. In this one a story told by Oscar Wilde to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sets the stage for the whole book. Corrie comes across this story in Doyle's diary and gets an idea for writing her thesis. This takes her to Roaring Fork, Colorado where she immediately winds up in jail, and is facing a long prison term. It is obvious that the powers of the town want her research squelched and are hiding a big secret. On top of that there is a serial arsonist setting mansions in Roaring Fork on fire. It is up to Pendergast to get Corrie out of her jam and to help her solve the mysteries of Roaring Fork. on top of that he needs to try to calm down Corrie's stubborn behavior and pig-headedness which keeps getting her into dangerous situations. There is a lot of tense moments and the story is written in a very crisp manner that never gets boring. The authors even have an "unpublished" Doyle Sherlock Holmes tale that reads a lot like the author's own style. This is not the best Pendergast tale but it is a very good one. I give it 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so looking forward to another adventure of my favorite detective and this book did not disappoint! Clever, fast paced with just enough twists and turns to keep me up reading well into the night. Excellent read and was sorry to see it end!
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
I found this SA Pendergast installment fantastic!! Every single book, in its own way, has been outstanding. Could not put the book down and now have to wait patiently for the next one. The authors have such creative minds and thank you for many hours of enjoyable reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by these authors and won't be the last. The only negative comment I have to make is concerning the main character (Corrie). Her stupid decisions were iirritating at times, but other than that I couldn't put the book down. Finished reading it at 5 o'clock this morning. I will be back to read more books from this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There aren't many books that have given me chills, but this was one of them! I could barely put this one down to work! Lincoln and Child have done it again, another amazing thriller with Pendergast at the helm! Seriously, the preview chapter should be Chapter 11. SO GOOD!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finally feel that the athors have gotren back to their strengths as a writing team. Their recent trilogy-style novels have been pretty bad, but, in White Fire, I see more of a return to the old Pendergast in a plotline worthy of his expertise. Great addition to the series. Stephanie Clanahan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Preston and Child, both together and separately are simply my favorite authors. They never fail me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am shocked that the Corrie character isn't popular. Her youthful lack of vision is exactly as Wilde was recommending to Doyle. A personality flaw for a major character. She also brings a degree of humanity to our much-loved frosty Pendergast. I loved this book for many reasons: Holmes fan, Leadville fan, US Armed Services fan, and Preston & Child fan. I highly recommend this book.
pwooden More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. The unflappable Agent Pendergast once again helps to uncover long forgotten secrets while cleverly battling brutal enemies in the present. Layer upon layer of tension builds while the reader learns that appearances can be very deceptive.